In the fifth of our series of articles looking back over 40 years of evolution for Riviera, we look at the period from 2001 to 2005.
With the new state-of-the-art, 16.8-hectare (41.5 acre) facility at Coomera open and fully functioning, the Riviera team settled into their new environment, looking back on 20 years of great achievement and forward to strong growth and continuing international success.
The year 2001 saw the launch of the second of the millennium model flybridge boats, the 37, and the launch of the first in a new range of sports cruisers, the M430.
Sales of the first millennium model, the 40, were booming. Life was good as Riviera recorded the significant milestone of more than 2,000 boats built in 20 years.
On the world stage, however, all was not well. The dotcom bubble that had seen the sudden and meteoric rise of internet-based companies suddenly burst in March and shares in the sector crashed.
On September 11 of that year, the world changed as al-Qaeda terrorist attacks took place in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania.
The Riviera team was shaken but undaunted. In 2002, they launched two more sports cruisers, the M370 and the M290. Together the three models would achieve sales of more than 370 boats over eight years.
Riviera’s sales grew by 18 per cent in 2003 as the company launched three more models. The 42 Flybridge added some length and an additional bathroom to the 40 and the 47 Flybridge was immediately successful, going on to achieve sales of 292 boats over two iterations in 11 years of production. A new flagship, the 58 Enclosed Flybridge model, was also launched.
In February of that year, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated during re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere over Texas in the United States. In March, the Iraq war began.
The year 2004 saw Riviera achieve yet another milestone with more than 3,000 boats sold since the first in 1981, just four years after achieving the 2,000 mark.
A second major achievement was 421 boats built in the year. The company launched two new models, the 33 Open Flybridge and the 51 Open Flybridge. Both would go on to strong success with more than 100 of each sold.
It was also an award-winning year. The 51 Open Flybridge won the Australian Marine Industry Federation (AMIF) Boat of the Year award. At the same ceremony, Riviera won the AMIF Exporter of the Year award and went on to win the Premier of Queensland’s SMART award for innovation. The following year the 33 Open Flybridge followed her big sister’s award-winning ways, picking up the Modern Boating Cruiser of the Year.
On the world stage, NASA landed two spacecraft on the surface of Mars and sent probes to Mercury and Saturn. In February of that year, Mark Zuckerberg created the social media site Facebook. It was originally confined to Harvard University.
In 2005 Riviera unveiled a new concept design, the Sport Yacht with an indoor-outdoor layout featuring an awning window in the aft saloon bulkhead and pillarless glass door. The 3600 Sport Yacht was an award-winning trailblazer, the first in a line that continues to this day.
In the same year two new-design sports cruisers were launched along with a new flagship, the 60 Enclosed Flybridge, to lead a rapidly expanding fleet.
In 2005 world events, YouTube launched and two months later its co-founder uploaded the first ever video, entitled Me at the Zoo, to the site.
At Riviera, it seemed that the team of 1,200 could focus now on a bright future. Not so. In just three years, the organisation would be shaken and then face its largest challenge.
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